In January, Google announced the acquisition of Nest, which is a cool gadget that injects intelligence, access, and connectivity to your thermostat. In the same week, Proofpoint identified a cyber attack where 750,000 fridges and smart televisions sent spam emails.
Internet of things is a tech-industry term to describe interconnectivity between devices. Devices in this scenario aren’t computers and smartphones anymore. Your vehicle, television, appliances, and even thermostat can be connected and presumably enrich your life. Anything that can be digitalized and connected will be, and there are no limits.
Access to networks, and computer automated intelligence is a beautiful thing when it works as originally designed. However, when these systems are compromised or fail, it can create a huge problem.
My Nest Meltdown
For example, two years ago I purchased a Nest for our office (please don’t ask me why we need a Thermostat in San Diego). It worked beautifully for the first year, but after it started acting up. The device started heating when it should have been cooling. I had to call and work through tech-support to ensure my thermostat was functioning.. It all ended when my air conditioner stopped working.. Apparently the device stopped sending enough voltage to the AC unit and it froze over. $400 in later in repairs the Nest was removed and sits in our hardware graveyard to this day. Interestingly enough the Nest team declined me sending the defective hardware when I offered.
Now that Google has their hands on the technology and a very talented team, it will be interesting to see what other smart consumer devices they will think up next!